All the very best to You and Yours in 2023


Plockton at sunset with various oil rigs and platforms behind.

Scottish Country dance classes will be starting up again this week so check which classes fit your schedule and come along – many first nights are free – check out the new beginner class on the North Shore.

Do not forget the Ceilidh Dance on Friday January 27 in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  There is a free class at 7 pm then the dance follows from 8 – 10:30 pm with live music by Calanais.  All easy dances that are taught and called and everyone has lots of fun and great exercise.  Tell your friends and make it an outing – it only costs $15 ($10 for students) and there are refreshments (including cider & beer) for a donation.  Mark your calendars now and make plans to join the fun.

Here is some cheery upbeat Scottish Dance music to enjoy.

Dashing White Sergeant         Gordon Shand           Ceilidh round the Steeple


Broughton Heights rising above the misty Tweed Valley

Winter arrived with a bang and it was very cold for about a week.  Old men like me should not shovel snow.  I know that but I did!  It was dry, fluffy snow but I probably did too much and had to take a rest.  The next thing I knew I was on my back with people around me and my wife on the phone for an ambulance.  A doctor neighbour came over, checked me out and said I was probably OK.  He had a big truck and took us to Emergency in White Rock (the ambulance was cancelled) where I was thoroughly checked, x-rayed etc.  It was very quiet but they were short staffed so we were there for over 5 hours.  My son came to take us home.

Afterwards I got a pain in my side so I phoned my doctor the next day and he thought I should have it checked and e-mailed me a requisition for an x-ray.  It was still snowy and we do not have snow tires so the following day we asked a neighbour for a ride to the hospital where it only took 30 minutes for the x-ray.  Nothing apparently broken, just badly bruised and it is easing up so I should be fine at SCD on Wednesday.  Meanwhile the snow shovel has been hidden!!

We had a fun Christmas with our Ukrainian family opening stockings and gifts.  Then our local family joined us for dinner – 14 in all.  It was a noisy, happy meal then all pitched in to help clear up.

So we move into 2023 and get ready for the Ceilidh Dance on January 27 and the Burns Supper (which I am chair of the organizing committee!) on the 28th – it will be sold out in the next day or so.  I have some accounting, reports etc. to be filed and so on – I like to be busy!!

Sunrise in Strathcarron in Torridon


 O Lord heap blessings on the soup,
Heap blessings on the stovies,
Heap blessings on the Papes and Jews,
The Moslems and Jehovies.
Heap blessings on all gathered here,
On absent friends and strangers,
And if you’ve any blessings left,
For G……’s  sake bless the Rangers.


The 2023 season for Ceilidh Dances are scheduled (all on Friday evenings) as follows:-

January 27
February 24
March 31
April 28
September 29
October 27
November 24

Mark your calendars now!

The dances will be will be held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  The class will be held in the large hall from 7:00 – 7:45 then we will all exit to give the band a chance for a sound check etc. and the dance class will run from 8:00 – 10:30 with live music by Calanais.  Alison will continue to be your teacher/caller so you are guaranteed to have a great evening.  No change to the admission – still $15 with students $10.

Help us spread the word – I am not into social media but I am sure somebody can promote the Ceilidh Dance(s) there for me especially out at the Colleges and Universities.  Tell all your friends to come along – it really is a fun (and cheap!) evening.

Last month’s dance was very well attended with 76 dancers having a great time.  It would be great if we had another large attendance on January 27 to get the New Year off on the right foot (or is that the left one?).  So we need your help to spread the word – see what you can do to drum up some business for us.



The haggis is a wondrous beast
It neither walks nor waddles,
But frenzied by the mating urge
It cannot fly, but toddles.

It toddles through the glens and heath,
It toddles through the heather
A singin’ o’ it’s mating choon –
“Ach jings whit awfi weather!”


Largs as the sun was coming through the clouds

Why did no-one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay? Because they were two deer.

Mary and Joseph – now they had a stable relationship.

What did Santa do when he went speed dating? He pulled a cracker.

Why don’t you ever see Santa in hospital? Because he has private elf care.

How did Mary and Joseph know that Jesus was 7lb 6oz when he was born? They had a weigh in a manger.

These might have been in our Christmas crackers!



near Staffin on Skye

Sometimes there is good reason !

A couple were having dinner one evening   when the husband reached across the table, took his wife’s hand in his and said, “Beth, soon we will be   married 30 years, and there’s   something I have to know. In all of these 30 years, have you ever been unfaithful to me ?”

Beth replied, “Well Charles, I have to be honest with you. Yes, I’ve been unfaithful to you 12 times during these 30 years, but always for a good reason.”

Charles was obviously hurt by his wife’s confession, but said, “Beth, I never suspected. Can you tell me what you mean by ‘good reasons’ ?”

Beth said, “The very first time was shortly after we were married, and we were about to lose our little house because we couldn’t pay the mortgage. Do you remember that one evening I went to see the banker and the next day he notified you that the loan would be extended ?”

Charles recalled the visit to the banker and said, “I can forgive you for that. You saved our home, but what about the second time ?”

Beth asked, “And do you remember when you were so sick, but we didn’t have the money to pay for the heart surgery you needed ? Well, I went to see your doctor one night and, if you recall, he did the surgery at no charge.”

“I do recall that,” says Chuck. “And you did it to save my life, so of course I can forgive you for that. But those were two very extenuating circumstances”, It’s hard for me to believe that there could have been so many other reasons for you to be unfaithful” !

“All right,” Beth said. “So do you remember when you ran for President of your golf club, and you needed 10 more votes ?”


Loch Etive with Ben Starav on the right and Bidean Nam Bian visible in thedistance



Here is another tune;

Toast to the Lassies            The Alexander Brothers         Scotland We Love You

reflective picture in Glen Affric.
Environment Canada has issued a travel warning due to snowfall and bad road conditions.

They suggest that anyone travelling in the current icy conditions should  ensure they have the following:

Blankets or sleeping bag
Extra clothing including hat and gloves
24 hours worth of food
Rock Salt
Flashlight with spare batteries
Road Flares or Reflective Triangles
Full gas Can
First Aid Kit
Booster cables

I looked like a idiot when I got on the bus this morning!   …




Stirling Castle looking stunning at sunrise with Stuc a Chroin and Ben Vorlich
and another great tune
 Ashokan Farewell            The Alexander Brothers           Scotland We Love You

River Earn in Comrie

The Christmas Tree Festival at St Conans Kirk, Lochawe


NEXT CEILIDH DANCE IS ON Friday, January 27, 2023 
alert all your friends and acquaintances.
Hope to see many of you there 

Happy New Year to you all.

May your troubles be one, may your blessings be more,
and may nothing but happiness come through your door.

Duncan MacKenzie